Unable to receive refund for eligible canceled flight

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Jul 2, 2020
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We are getting very close to our scheduled departure date (July 9) and I'm wondering what I should do next. I did what Elliott.org suggested with the DOT complaint form and haven't heard anything back yet. I did, however, receive a response from Delta on my consumer complaint that included a link to request a refund. I completed that immediately and we definitely qualify for a refund based on their own stated requirements (if the new flight is more than 90 minutes different; ours is 2.5 hours different and is no longer non-stop).

I'm following up with you to see what your advice is as time is growing short and our flight is scheduled for July 9. Should we:
  1. Do nothing and wait to hear from Delta? I'm worried that if they haven't responded by July 9 and we take no action, they will consider us a no-show on the flight and we won't receive any compensation.
  2. Cancel the flight now and accept the offered credit, but continue trying to receive a refund? I'm worried that if we take the credit it weakens our request for a refund.
  3. Dispute the charge with our credit card company? I think Chris has referred to this as the "nuclear option" in his column so I'm doubtful this is the best approach...
Sorry to bother you and I'm very grateful for your help so far, but as we get closer with no action from Delta I want to do what's best to preserve our rights as travelers. Thank you!
 

Neil Maley

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If Delta hasn’t canceled the flight and it’s still scheduled to depart you need to cancel it. If you don’t you will be marked as a no show and not receive anything back.

Unless Delta cancels the flight you aren’t entitled to a refund period so please understand that. The airlines financially can’t afford to refund anyone who isn't legally entitled to a refund.


You should contact Delta. You can’t get a refund unless you cancel or Delta cancels the flight. Make sure they are waiving cancellation penalties as well.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2020
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Thank you, Neil. I should cancel and receive a credit and keep pursuing a full refund from Delta, correct? Yes, they did cancel our flight and they rebooked us on a new itinerary (new flight numbers, connecting flights, much longer time) which we don't find acceptable. Flight details:

Original/canceled flights:
Delta 452 Thu, July 9: Mexico City 2:25 pm -> Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 6:46 pm
Delta 451 Tue, July 21: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 9:05 am -> Mexico City 1:25 pm

Rescheduled flights:
Delta 366 Thu, July 9: Mexico City 1:40 pm -> Atlanta, Georgia 5:59 pm -> Delta 1128 Thu, July 9: Atlanta, Georgia 7:55 pm -> Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 9:22 pm
Delta 700 Tue, July 21: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 6:45 am -> Atlanta, Georgia 10:01 am -> Delta 365 Tue, July 21: Atlanta, Georgia 11:53 am -> Mexico City 2:15 pm
 
May 30, 2019
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The new outbound flight departs only 45 min prior to the original flight. That is within the airline's acceptable rebooking timeframe. However, the arrival time is more than 90 minutes later.

Call the airline and explain that four your July 9 flight, the arrival time change is not acceptable and for the return July 21 flight, the overall rescheduled change is not acceptable. Patiently but clearly request a refund to the original payment method.

When you call, be prepared to be put on hold for about an hour. If offered a virtual hold, i.e. they call you back, that's ok. It works for me ~95% of the time and the estimated callback time is pretty accurate. Confirm your phone number and wait for a callback.

EDIT: The above applies in situations for a flight change today. However ...
Question for @rworrell, did you file a DOT complaint before requesting a refund from the airline? If yes, question for @Neil Maley: Does that complicate the typical refund request?
 
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May 21, 2020
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You just need to call the Delta refund line and tell them the changes to your upcoming trip is unacceptable and you want a refund. Be prepared to be on hold for awhile/hours. Be calm and firm. Have your trip info ready. I was able to get a refund on nonrefundable Delta tickets after they made changes which were much less significant than yours. The Delta refund line I called is 800-847-0578.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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Thank you, Neil. I should cancel and receive a credit and keep pursuing a full refund from Delta, correct? Yes, they did cancel our flight and they rebooked us on a new itinerary (new flight numbers, connecting flights, much longer time) which we don't find acceptable. Flight details:

Original/canceled flights:
Delta 452 Thu, July 9: Mexico City 2:25 pm -> Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 6:46 pm
Delta 451 Tue, July 21: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 9:05 am -> Mexico City 1:25 pm

Rescheduled flights:
Delta 366 Thu, July 9: Mexico City 1:40 pm -> Atlanta, Georgia 5:59 pm -> Delta 1128 Thu, July 9: Atlanta, Georgia 7:55 pm -> Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 9:22 pm
Delta 700 Tue, July 21: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota 6:45 am -> Atlanta, Georgia 10:01 am -> Delta 365 Tue, July 21: Atlanta, Georgia 11:53 am -> Mexico City 2:15 pm
If you accept a credit voucher you will probably NOT be able to get a later refund to your CC. You need to reach out to Delta and request (demand) a refund based on the changes made to your itinerary-tell Delta those changes are not acceptable.

Delta contacts: https://elliott.org/company-contacts/delta-airlines/
Contact by email only or possibly FB/Twitter. Do not call as you will get different messages every time you talk to a different person.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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The odds of you getting a refund after accepting a voucher is practically non existent. Airlines are bleeding money, they're not going to hand you cash after you accepted a voucher.
 
May 30, 2019
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I don't understand why other posters are talking about accepting a voucher. The Original Poster's (OP) flight was changed and per Delta Airlines' policy -- both pre-COVID and current -- the OP is eligible for a full refund to the original form of payment.

Normally, I would recommend calling the airline and explain that for the flights, the time changes are not acceptable. Patiently but clearly request a refund to the original payment method. I've done this with Delta four times in the past year, including twice in the 2 months, and received a refund within 10 business days.

However, the OP already filed a DOT complaint. Given that, I suggest calling the airline and checking on the status of the refund. If the refund is not "in process" or "pending", request a refund as described above.

When calling, be prepared to be put on hold for about an hour. If offered a virtual hold, i.e. they call you back, that's ok. It works for me ~95% of the time and the estimated callback time is pretty accurate. Confirm your phone number and wait for a callback.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,366
23,327
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
The new outbound flight departs only 45 min prior to the original flight. That is within the airline's acceptable rebooking timeframe. However, the arrival time is more than 90 minutes later.

Call the airline and explain that four your July 9 flight, the arrival time change is not acceptable and for the return July 21 flight, the overall rescheduled change is not acceptable. Patiently but clearly request a refund to the original payment method.

When you call, be prepared to be put on hold for about an hour. If offered a virtual hold, i.e. they call you back, that's ok. It works for me ~95% of the time and the estimated callback time is pretty accurate. Confirm your phone number and wait for a callback.

EDIT: The above applies in situations for a flight change today. However ...
Question for @rworrell, did you file a DOT complaint before requesting a refund from the airline? If yes, question for @Neil Maley: Does that complicate the typical refund request?
It certainly might. It was premature to file a DOT complaint.
 
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justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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I don't understand why other posters are talking about accepting a voucher.
Because the OP has repeatedly asked about canceling the ticket online, getting a voucher, and then asking for a refund because they cannot get ahold of the airline.

See one instance:

I should cancel and receive a credit and keep pursuing a full refund from Delta, correct?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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What did your DoT complaint state? What was the reason you filed it? If you've filed for a refund, what are you looking for at this point?

Normally you could just call Delta, they have (or had) a good system which would give you an approximate time they'd call you back. But I don't think anyone can do anything if you've filed with DoT.
 
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Jul 2, 2020
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Update from OP: On the advice of an advocate here at elliott.org, I filed the DOT complaint. The outcome is that I did finally receive a full refund from Delta but it took a LONG time. I didn't call because the advice from the advocates here was not to call because it doesn't leave a documentation trail - just because they say on the phone that you'll get a refund, it doesn't mean it will actually happen.

One of the advocates here took all my information, including the DOT complaint number, and followed up with a Delta executive contact. I then received a full refund in a day or two. I am very glad I didn't take the credit as I almost certainly wouldn't have gotten my refund.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
Can you tell us how long it took from the date you filed the DOT complaint to the date you received the refund? It would help others who expect a fast response
from a DOT complaint. I am glad it worked out.
 
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Jul 2, 2020
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When I submitted, they said Delta had 30 days to respond. At 30 days, I hadn't heard anything so I reached out to Elliott.org again and they reached out to Delta. I got the refund the following day.